Public Health Foundation
SUMMARY Heluna Health (dba Public Health Foundation Enterprises) and the Vector-Borne Disease Section (VBDS) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are recruiting for the position of Microbiologist within the West Nile Virus and Other Arboviral Diseases Program, with an emphasis on Zika virus. VBDS supports statewide surveillance and control of vector-borne diseases such as endemic and emerging arboviruses, Lyme disease, and plague. In addition to testing environmental samples such as ticks, fleas, and animal blood for vector-borne and zoonotic disease agents, the VBDS Laboratory tests mosquitoes for molecular markers that indicate potential pesticide resistance to commonly used insecticides. In order to support effective statewide control of invasive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, that have the potential to transmit Zika and other viruses, the VBDS Laboratory will enhance laboratory testing capacity to determine susceptibility of mosquitoes to the range of pesticides that may be used by local vector control agencies. Results are used to inform mosquito control or education activities by state and local governmental agencies. This position will serve as the lead to coordinate the statewide pesticide resistance testing program in conjunction with other biologists and microbiologists. The position reports to the Supervising Public Health Biologist and works closely with the Vector-borne Disease Public Health Biologists and Microbiologists. This position is funded by a federal grant through July 31, 2019. Continuation of the position after that date is contingent upon funding and performance. The salary range is $27.00-$31.00/hour. ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS * Coordinate pesticide resistance program in conjunction with other biologists and microbiologists. * Develop, optimize and conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to detect molecular markers for pesticide resistance in California mosquitoes. * Comparative sequence analysis of molecular data using sequence databases. * Optimize and conduct biochemical (microplate) assays to test mosquitoes for mechanisms of resistance to pesticides used in California. * Conduct serological assays (e.g., enzyme immunoassays, indirect fluorescent antibody assay, western blots) for arboviruses. * Extract DNA from arthropod samples and test for molecular evidence of zoonotic pathogens using PCR assays. * Prepare and stock lab reagents, wash glassware, and conduct other laboratory maintenance procedures as needed. * Use multiple databases to enter records and report results. Prepare operational and technical reports, including an annual work summary. * Evaluate pesticide resistance testing results and provide consultation to local vector control agencies as indicated. * Work with VBDS staff to ensure accuracy and timeliness of vector-borne disease test results. JOB QUALIFICATIONS * Required specific knowledge, experience, and expertise with molecular assays, including PCR assays. * Requires the ability to access and critically review scientific literature so as to develop and optimize molecular assays and biochemical assays for pesticide resistance testing. * Requires knowledge of and experience with standard laboratory practices and sterile techniques, including microscopes, autoclaves, electronic balances, pipettes, and standard sterilization techniques. * Previous experience with arthropods, biological assays and biochemical assays, preferred. Education/Experience * Bachelors degree in microbiology or related field and one or more years of laboratory experience in molecular biology or microbiology, required. * Masters or Ph.D. degree in biological sciences, preferred desired. Other Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities * Candidate must be able to interpret scientific protocols and implement protocols explicitly. * Candidate must be able to develop novel protocols independently. * Familiarity with databases. * Candidate must be adept at problem solving, multi-tasking, dependability and be able to meet deadlines. * Candidate must have excellent oral and written communication skills and have the ability to work well with others in a team setting. PHYSICAL DEMANDS * Stand Frequently * Walk Frequently * Sit Frequently * Handling/Fingering Frequently * Reach Outward Frequently * Reach Above Shoulder Occasionally * Climb, Crawl, Kneel, Bend Occasionally * Lift / Carry Occasionally - Up to 50 lbs * Push/Pull Occasionally - Up to 50 lbs * See Constantly * Taste/ Smell Not Applicable KEY * Not Applicable Not required for essential functions * Occasionally (0 - 2 hrs/day) * Frequently (2 - 5 hrs/day) * Constantly (5 hrs/day) WORK ENVIRONMENT * General office and laboratory settings
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Public Health Foundation